Former Texas State Parole Officer Admits Taking Bribes from Assigned Parolee
WASHINGTON – A former Texas state parole officer pleaded guilty today in Dallas for taking bribes from one of her assigned parolees in exchange for not reporting his parole violations, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Nichelle Derricks, 37, of Cedar Hill, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Harris Toliver of the Northern District of Texas, who then recommends U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade accept the plea.
According to court documents, while serving as a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) parole officer, Derricks and one of her assigned parolees developed an improper relationship in which Derricks secretly used her official position with TDCJ to enrich herself and others by soliciting and receiving cash payments, gifts, furniture, household goods and items, food and beverages and other things of value from the parolee in exchange for favorable official action benefitting the parolee. The scheme, according to court documents, was conducted without the authorization, knowledge or approval of TDCJ and contrary to TDCJ procedures and requirements.
As part of her plea, Derricks admitted she repeatedly failed to report the parolee for violating the terms of his parole, including, among other things, failing to report him for traveling outside Texas without prior, written approval and for engaging in prohibited financial transactions.
Derricks faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the honest services wire fraud charge. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2013.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Edward P. Sullivan and Jeffrey E. Tsai of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI Dallas Field Office, with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service and the TDCJ Office of Inspector General.